Marlins vs. Phillies Wild Card Series Preview

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
Marlins vs. Phillies Wild Card Series Preview

The marathon that is the MLB regular season has officially completed. As the dust settles from 162, we are left with competitive matchups in both leagues.

In the Senior Circuit, an NL East clash awaits in one branch of the Wild Card series. Five and a half games apart in the divisional standings, the Miami Marlins will head to the "City of Brotherly Love" for at least two games against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Remember: these Wild Card series are best-of-three, hosted in one city.

With Game 1 set for Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST at Citizens Bank Park, the visiting Marlins are currently priced as +128 underdogs. Southpaw Jesus Luzardo will toe the rubber for Miami in the opener while Zack Wheeler is scheduled to start for Philly.

All MLB odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Updated October 3rd, 2023 at 12:30 p.m. EST

Marlins vs. Phillies NL Wild Card Series: Moneyline, Total Games, and Correct Score

  • Series Moneyline:
    • Marlins: +160
    • Phillies: -200
  • Total Games:
    • 2 (-110)
    • 3 (-110)
  • Correct Score:
    • Phillies 2-0 (+172)
    • Phillies 2-1 (+210)
    • Marlins 2-1 (+370)
    • Marlins 2-0 (+430)

Marlins vs. Phillies Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

  • Marlins (84-77/3rd NL East):
    • nERD: 0.22 (15th)
    • Run differential: -56 (21st)
    • Home record: 46-35 (9th)
    • Away record: 39-42 (T16th)
    • OPS: .722 (19th)
    • HR/game: 1.02 (23rd)
    • wOBA: .313 (19th)
    • ERA: 4.22 (16th)
    • K%: 21.3% (23rd)
    • BB%: 7.1% (4th-best)
  • Phillies (90-72/2nd NL East):
    • nERD: 1.04 (7th)
    • Run differential: +81 (T11th)
    • Home record: 49-32 (T5th)
    • Away record: 41-40 (T10th)
    • OPS: .765 (6th)
    • HR/game: 1.36 (8th)
    • wOBA: .329 (6th)
    • ERA: 4.02 (12th)
    • K%: 23.9% (11th)
    • BB%: 8.7% (15th)

Marlins vs. Phillies NL Wild Card Series Analysis

As longtime NL East rivals, Philadelphia and Miami have never met in a postseason series (different story in the NBA, where the Miami Heat ousted the Philadelphia 76ers from the 2022 ECSF). Still, that is all about to change this week when the two sides will battle it out on the western banks of the Delaware River.

The Marlins have clinched their first playoff berth since 2020 when they were quickly swept out of the NLDS by the division champion Atlanta Braves. In history, this is only the fourth time Miami -- a franchise that dates back to 1993 -- will be apart of MLB's postseason. Of course, the Fish twice have managed to win it all (1997, 2003) despite limited opportunities. Basically, Miami has won the World Series in 66.7% of playoffs they have participated in.

As defending National League champions, the Phillies have improved on their regular-season win total for the fourth consecutive year (sans the COVID shortened 2020 campaign). In 2023, they notched 90 wins for the first time since 2011. Falling short in last year's World Series, you can bet Philadelphia is hungry for a return to the Fall Classic -- especially when you consider the town's postseason woes through all major sports in recent years.

Currently, the Marlins are one of the oldest teams in MLB on average (30.1 years). That translates to experience with Yulieski Gurriel and Jorge Soler, both of whom bring a World Series pedigree to the squad. Coupled together with the youth of players like Luis Arraez (2023 NL batting champ at .354), Jazz Chisholm (41.6% hard-hit rate with 22 stolen bases) and Bryan De La Cruz (club-best 78 RBI), Miami's 84 wins this year are their most since 2009.

On offense, the Phillies received stellar performances from returners Bryson Stott (4.4 WAR in 2023), Bryce Harper (.397 xwOBA), Kyle Schwarber (team-best 47 homers) and Nick Castellanos (career-high 106 RBI). Additionally, speedy newcomer Trea Turner (30 SB) has settled in Philly after a slow start to the campaign. In all, the Fightin' Phils present an explosive lineup; let's not forget All-Star backstop J.T. Realmuto, either. Their collective club OPS of .765 must be respected.

The two sides are fairly evenly matched on the mound. Starting arms like Wheeler, Luzardo, Braxton Garrett, Taijuan Walker and Sandy Alcantara are all quality pitchers. Still, Philadelphia's staff has a slightly better team ERA while Miami has been more efficient, walking only 7.1% of opposing batters this season.

Through 13 head-to-head meetings in 2023, the Marlins edged out Philly for a 7-6 record. In games played at Citizens Bank Park, Miami went 4-2, scoring 4.33 runs per game in that split. However, in 2022 (before divisional games were reduced), the Phillies took the season series 12-7.

As a final note, the Marlins started the year with +440 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook to qualify for the 2023 MLB postseason.

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